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Major blow for Ireland as Sexton and Henshaw ruled out

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has been ruled out of the Autumn Nations Cup encounter with England this Saturday.

Sexton came off in the 28th minute of Ireland’s 32-9 win over Wales on Friday evening with a hamstring injury.

Following a scan on his hamstring, it was confirmed that the 35-year-old would not be available for the trip to London.

It was announced that Robbie Henshaw will also be unavailable to Andy Farrell for this weekend’s game, with the centre picking up an adductor strain.

Both injuries will leave the Ireland head coach with some selection headaches, especially in the number 10 position.

Billy Burns, the backup fly-half for the match against Wales, also came off injured at the Aviva Stadium for a head injury assessment. (HIA)

The Ulster fly-half is currently following return-to-play protocols but has not yet been ruled out of Saturday’s match.

Either he or Leinster’s Ross Byrne will be expected to wear the number 10 jersey against Eddie Jones’ men at Twickenham Stadium.

Should Byrne get the nod he will hope to have a much better day out than his last start at Twickenham last August, where England ran out 57-15 winners.

With both Henshaw and Garry Ringrose unavailable Farrell will presumably turn to a centre-pairing of Bundee Aki and Chris Farrell.

Both men have been in fine form recently, with both carrying plenty of weight to take on what will likely be a physical performance from the English.

Stockdale and Henderson making progress.

Elsewhere in the Irish camp Jacob Stockdale is continuing to recover from a calf injury after missing Friday’s encounter with the Welsh.

It is hoped that the Ulsterman will be available to return to training later in the week.

Iain Henderson returned to training today after being a late withdrawal for the Wales match while Munster’s Shane Daly is also back to full training.

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